“…The stars need darkness or you would not know them.” –Dorothy Trogdon, poet
The day presents itself to him at an unacceptable hour. The time of night when end of one day hasn’t completely surrendered to another. But the early thin place wasn’t an enemy by any means. The typhoon-like week that led to this moment hadn’t finished depositing its day-timer detritus. He is tired, but a certain contentment holds sway and hunkers down in the deep parts that make themselves known at such times.
Faces like so many stars in a sequined heaven begin to seep into his memory. As though bobbing up from underwater, one face after another implores to be remembered, mentally photographed and then, in the quiet of gifted moments, developed into softly gilded perfection. Was this mere whimsy, the unfettered gloating of overly romanticized ideas? Life was good. Why then the unasked for intrusion of yesterday’s communion? Couldn’t the wealth of immediacy be enough, just this once? Is then always so much better than now?
He wondered to himself whether he should banish such ghosts or to allow them free passage through heart hallways a little dusty that often smudge such images. He chooses the latter and, for a few moments, coffee now cold in his cup, joins them in meandering parade through the ballroom of his conscious. Through closed eyes he draws deep breaths of the night air and touches each face. But in doing so, they vanish, leaving only his finger pointing heavenward – the place where each of them are called. The place to which they call others.
Then there is clarity. Without the backdrop of the deep black night, stars are not stars. Without stones, the river doesn’t dance. Without falling leaves, the wind makes no sound and the world is just a little sadder. He smiles, dares a sip of cold coffee, and steals another breath from the evening, not so quiet after all.